This section, which is permanently updated, contains useful information and further readings on the topic of endangered lawyers.

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Principles & Legislation

(in chronological order)




Day of the Endangered Lawyer  


Articles & Research

(in chronological order)



Geographical focus

(in alphabetical order)



China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (CHRLCG), "Missing: Human Rights Activists in China & the Disappeared Justice", ebook.

CCBE report on the situation of lawyers in China, 2016 (pdf format) Publications

Basic report about the oppression of lawyers in China (ENG)

 Amnesty International about China's Crackdown 

Endangered Lawyers-Report on the day of the endangered lawyer, Milan 24.01.17 (IT)

Camera Penale Veneziana, Day of the Endangered Lawyer, 24.1.17: La Nuova Venezia/ Il Gazzettino  






Protecting and Supporting Human Rights Defenders - Public Guidelines of the Foreign Ministry of Finland on the implementation of the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders


  • Guìa para defensoras y defensores de derechos humanos ante la criminalizacion (Spanish) 


Gulf & Neighbourhoods

  • Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) Annual Report 2015: Human Rights Defenders in Prison and in Peril throughout the Gulf and Neighbouring Countries
  • Iraqi Kurdistan Women Human Rights Defenders Challenging a Continuum of Violence Mission Report



  • Thailand: Immediately drop sedition case and all proceedings against human rights lawyer Sirikan Charoensiri


The Philippines

  • 2015: The Philippines

Basic report for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2015

Full report for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2015

Matrix of Attacks on Filipino Lawyers and Judges as of November 15 2014

Letter of the Filipino ambassador in Rome and an administrative order of the president of the Philippines




  • US Dept. of State-Human Rights Report-Turkey
  • Report – Lawyers Delegation to Diyarbakır – 21 to 24 January 2016
  • Rapporto degli Osservatori UCPI sulla situazione a Diyarbakir "il diritto di difesa e gli altri diritti fondamentali violati in Turchia", 22-24 Gennaio 2016
  • Turchia: dove gli avvocati sono i nemici numero uno, Ezio Menzione, Il Dubbio, 9 luglio 2016
  • Şerife Ceren Uysal's speech in opening day of the  Italian National Bar Council meeting, Rimini, october 2016 (EN - ITA
  • Gli avvocati il prossimo obiettivo del regime, Ezio Menzione, Il Dubbio, 5 novembre 2016
  • UCPI, reports by Ezio Menzione and Nicola Canestrini on the current events in Kurdistan and Turkey, November 2016 (ITA) 
  • UPCI, support letter to Barbara Spinelli, 14.1.17 (ITA)
  • Bollettino LDF, Turchia. I diritti fondamentali. La reazione al tentato golpe e le deroghe alla Convenzione europea dei diritti dell’uomo.January 2017 (ITA) 
  • Frontline Defenders, urgent appeal for Turkey, September 2017 


NGOs & Public Activism

(in alphabetical order)



  • Gill Boehringer, Stuart Russell, Kristian Boehringer, Júlio Moreira, DEFENDING THE DEFENDERS- ATTACKS ON LAWYERS A PROBLEM IN SEARCH OF SOLUTIONS (2015)



  • Concerns regarding the situation of Turkish lawyers, including Münip Ermiş, Vice president of the Progressive Lawyers Association, Letter to Pres. Erdogan, Brussels, 12.09.16

LAWYERS FOR LAWYERS, Radiation possible du barreau des avocats Armel Niyongere, Lambert Nigarura, Dieudonné Bashirahishize et Vital Nshimirimana, 7 October 2016 (French)


 Frontline Defenders

 Annual Report on Human Rights Defenders at Risk in 2016


Endangered Lawyers, IALP et alia: 


Human Rights House Network

IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers


KIOS 2015

  • Perspectives on the Shrinking Space for Civil Society and Human Rights Defenders


Italian Union of criminal lawyers associations (Unione delle camere penali italiane, UCPI)



Protection of Lawyers Department Report on cases monitored 2015-2016


Un ponte per

Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition 

Eu Commission

EU Human Rights Defenders Relocation Platform, a global platform of national, regional and international organizations involved in programmes for the temporary relocation of human rights defenders at risk (en)

 Transnational Institute, On “shrinking space” a framing paper, April 2017


 Case Law

(in chronological order)


ruling in application no. 12629/87, 28 November 1991

(full judgement)

133. That special role of lawyers, as independent professionals, in the administration of justice entails a number of duties, particularly with regard to their conduct (see Van der Mussele v. Belgium, 23 November 1983, Series A no. 70; Casado Coca v. Spain, 24 February 1994, § 46, Series A no. 285-A; Steur v. the Netherlands, no. 39657/98, § 38, ECHR 2003-XI; Veraart v. the Netherlands, no. 10807/04, § 51, 30 November 2006; and Coutant v. France (dec.), no. 17155/03, 24 January 2008). Whilst they are subject to restrictions on their professional conduct, which must be discreet, honest and dignified, they also enjoy exclusive rights and privileges that may vary from one jurisdiction to another – among them, usually, a certain latitude regarding arguments used in court ..)."

“The Court considers that an accused’s right to communicate with his advocate out of hearing of a third person is part of the basic requirements of a fair trial in a democratic society and follows from Article 6 para. 3 (c) (art. 6-3-c) of the Convention. If a lawyer were unable to confer with his client and receive confidential instructions from him without such surveillance, his assistance would lose much of its usefulness, whereas the Convention is intended to guarantee rights that are practical and effective”



ruling in application no. 29369/10, judgment of 24 April 2015

(full judgement)

"The specific status of lawyers gives them a central position in the administration of justice as intermediaries between the public and the courts. They therefore play a key role in ensuring that the courts, whose mission is fundamental in a State based on the rule of law, enjoy public confidence (see Schöpfer v. Switzerland, 20 May 1998, §§ 29-30, Reports 1998-III; Nikula v. Finland, no. 31611/96, § 45, ECHR 2002-II; Amihalachioaie v. Moldova, no.60115/00, § 27, ECHR 2004-III; Kyprianou, cited above, § 173; André and Another v. France, no. 18603/03, § 42, 24 July 2008; and Mor, cited above, § 42). However, for members of the public to have confidence in the administration of justice they must have confidence in the ability of the legal profession to provide effective representation (see Kyprianou (..))"


(Requête no 30050/12)

(full judgement-French)

"La Cour réaffirme qu’il revient à la police de respecter le rôle des avocats, de ne pas s’immiscer indûment dans leur travail, ni de les soumettre à aucune forme d’intimidation ou de tracasserie"



ruling in applications nos. 50541/08, 50571/08, 50573/08 and 40351/09, judgment of 16 september 2016

(full judgement)




 (Requête no 41841/12)

(full judgement)

La Cour a jugé que la défense d’un client peut, dans certaines circonstances, se poursuivre dans les médias si les propos ne constituent pas des attaques gravement préjudiciables à l’action des tribunaux, et si les avocats s’expriment dans le cadre d’un débat d’intérêt général relatif au fonctionnement de la justice et dans le cadre d’une procédure qui suscite l’intérêt des médias et du public, qu’ils ne dépassent pas le commentaire admissible sans solide base factuelle et qu’ils ont exercé les voies de recours disponibles dans l’intérêt de leur client.



Hajibeyli v. Azebaijan  (Application no. 6477/08) 

Intigam Aliyev v. Azebaijan  (Application no. 10414/08)

Bagirov v. Azebaijan (Application no. 28198/15)

The ICJ on November 2016 intervened  before the European Court of Human Rights in the cases of three human rights lawyers who had been denied Bar membership because of their human rights activity.

The cases concern the compliance of the procedures of admission to and disbarment from the Bar Association of Azerbaijan of human rights lawyers Annagi Hajibeyli, Khalid Bagirov and Intigam Aliyev.

In its submissions, the ICJ stressed that, while lawyers have to perform their professional functions in conformity with ethical standards, the legal profession’s systems of admission and discipline must not enforce such obligations in a way that impairs the exercise of human rights by lawyers or their capacity to effectively represent their clients.



European Court of Human Rights

Factsheet – Legal professional privilege (January 2018)